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Free low-bandwidth net connection 'should be given to all'

Tim Berners-Lee believes web can improve healthcare systems

Everyone in the world should be given a low-bandwidth connection to the net, preferably for free, says Tim Berners-Lee.

"I would like to see people enrolled in a cheap data plan by default. I would like them to get it for free," the founder of the web said during the Nokia World conference, which was held in London this week.

At present, just 20 percent of the world's population has access to the net. However, Berners-Lee questioned whether the remaining 80 percent could live without an internet connection.

"I initially assumed you should get them water first, you should get them healthcare and then it is the luxury of getting the web," he said.

"But it is not actually like that. The web can be pretty instrumental in getting them access to healthcare."

The net could help create healthcare systems in the countries that currently do not these services, as well as ensuring people across the globe can "create their own communities and share their own information".

Berners-Lee said mobile networks provide the opportunity to offer everyone in the world a connection to the web. He believes that if networks offer free connections now, consumers will be willing to pay for net access in the future when they become more affluent.

"Not being a part of the information society is a really important thing."

See also: How to get 100Mb broadband

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